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Salads in Jars | Weekly Meal Prep

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Salads in Jars | Weekly Meal Prep

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I love prepping my meals for the week. In one afternoon, I can ensure I'm eating great all week. I've made salads in jars before, and I figured it was about time to give them another go. Plus with the holidays in full swing, it's nice to know I don't have to stress about what I'm going to be eating for lunch - not to mention most salads are healthier than leftovers anyway! 

I stocked up on the basics like chicken, shrimp and bacon; and used up dressings that have been sitting in my fridge for awhile. It's important to use hearty greens like spinach and romaine since it's less likely to wilt and brown by the end of the week. 

When making your salads, remember there's a method to the madness - you can't just throw in your ingredients willy nilly!

Add your salad ingredients in this order to keep the salads freshest:

  • Level One: Dressing
  • Level Two: Hearty Vegetables (example: cherry tomato, onion, celery, carrots, etc.)
  • Level Three: Lighter Vegetables (example: corn, beans, broccoli, etc.)
  • Level Four: Lighter Proteins and/or Dairy (example: hard boiled eggs, bacon, cheese, etc.)
  • Level Five: Proteins (example: chicken, shrimp, etc.)
  • Level Six: Greens
  • Level Seven: Optional dry toppings (example: croutons wrapped in plastic, etc.)

Sweet Onion Shrimp

I found out while making this salad that I'm basically in love with sweet onion dressing. It went really well with the shrimp, plus the addition of fresh asparagus added a nice crunch. I do recommend eating any salads you make with shrimp first, so the shrimp stays fresher. The lemon slices also help keep the shrimp fresh. Chicken lasts a bit longer and unlike shrimp, generally doesn't get chewier as it ages. Definitely eat all your salads by the end of the week though!

  

Here's what you'll need:

  • 3 tablespoons ranch
  • 5 tablespoons shredded carrots
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced thin
  • 1 strip bacon, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • 4-5 strips grilled chicken
  • 1-2 cups chopped romaine hearts
  • croutons, wrapped in plastic (optional)

The Italian

I've always loved balsamic vinegar - the stickier and tangier, the better. This salad combines the best of both worlds with a creamy balsamic dressing AND an aged balsamic vinegar drizzled throughout. I also used mozzarella pearls, to add to the authentic Italian tastes of this salad. Plus, the mozzarella pearls absorb the balsamic vinegar the longer they sit and make for super tangy, delicious bites in the salad.


Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 tablespoons creamy balsamic vinaigrette
  • 3-4 broccoli florets
  • 2-3 slices of tomato
  • 4 tablespoons mozzarella pearls
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 cups mixed greens (I used a mixed baby romaine salad mix)
  • croutons, wrapped in plastic (optional)

Ginger Shrimp

There's something about shrimp on salads that I just love. As with the sweet onion shrimp, this ginger shrimp salad was a close second in my favorites. Adding ginger to anything makes it a million times better, in my opinion.


Here's what you'll need:

  • 3 tablespoons ginger dressing
  • 3-4 shallot slices
  • 3-4 tomato slices
  • 4 tablespoons shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 4-5 grilled shrimp
  • 1 slice lemon, quartered (remove before eating)
  • 1 cup romaine hearts
  • 1 cup mixed greens
  • croutons, wrapped in plastic (optional)

Garlic Chicken

For this salad, I used Garlic Expressions salad dressing - its by far one of my favorite salad dressings out there, and it's pretty healthy in addition to being super tasty too! The sharp tang of the dressing goes great with the sweet raisins and salty capers found in this salad.


Here's what you'll need:

  • 3 tablespoons garlic vinaigrette
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons red onion
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese
  • 4-5 grilled chicken slices
  • 1-2 cups spinach
  • croutons, wrapped in plastic (optional) 

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Here's a good salad for a Friday night! Made with buffalo sauce, blue cheese, and grilled chicken, you can feel great about watching that sports game, regardless if they win or lose - you are still eating healthy!


Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 tablespoons buffalo sauce
  • 4 tablespoons celery, chopped
  • 3-4 shallot slices
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons red peppers, chopped
  • 2 strip bacon, crumbled
  • 4-5 grilled chicken slices
  • 1-2 cups romaine hearts
  • croutons, wrapped in plastic (optional)

BONUS SALAD: Crisp Apple Spinach


So when I make these video recipes, not everything turns out perfectly...this video was in fact meant to be SEVEN salads, but somewhere in the filming process, my camera stopped recording! Unfortunately, this salad, probably the best salad, didn't make the final cut. It's a salad topped with crisp apples in an apple vinaigrette from Bragg's.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 3 tablespoons apple vinaigrette
  • 5-6 apple cubes
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese
  • 3-4 shallot slices
  • 3 tablespoons shredded carrots
  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced
  • 2-3 cups spinach
  • croutons, wrapped in plastic (optional)


Now you are ready to take on the week, healthy and stress free! What is your favorite kind of salad? Have you made salads in jars in the past? Let me know how it went in the comments!

Categories: Video Recipes , Lunch

Tags: Salads , Mason Jars

The Starving Chef Blog

Salads in Jars | Weekly Meal Prep

Prep Time: 1 hour

Makes 7 salads in jars

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